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sandwich leave policy

What Is a Sandwich Leave Policy & How Does It Work?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A sandwich leave policy may feel like a strange term, but it is quickly gaining traction in many companies worldwide. But how does it work? What does it mean? We’ve got all the answers for you.

What is a Sandwich Leave Policy?

Picture this.

There is a public holiday on Monday next week. And you’re in desperate need of a break from work. 

You think to yourself, “It’s time for a quick getaway. I’ll take a day off from my annual leave on Friday and use the other three days over the weekend to have a nice mini-vacation.”

With that plan in mind, you go to your boss and ask them for a leave. Or even better, you submit a leave request directly from your workspace through Vacation Tracker.

Your leave gets approved, but on one condition — all those 4 days of leave from work get taken out of your annual leave quota. 

Yeah, you read that right. Your leaves have been sandwiched.

If you’re wondering why that happened, it’s because your company is following a sandwich leave policy. This type of leave policy allows HR teams to take time-off used around a public holiday (such as a Saturday, Sunday, or national holiday) and deduct the entirety of vacation taken from your annual leave quota. We all love sandwiches, don’t we? And if you leave work just before and after a holiday, you get all the days taken off your quota. That’s the sandwich leave policy for you.

How did it start?

The sandwich leave policy was developed for factory workers whose overall productivity depended mostly on their man-hours spent at work. A large number of workers taking leave at the same time lowers productivity. Hence, to overcome this potential issue, floor managers of these factories implemented a sandwich leave policy to ensure their productivity remained intact.

At first, the sandwich leave policy was also primarily used as a means to reduce employee turnover in factory jobs. Now, however, this method is becoming increasingly popular. While the sandwich leave policy was originally designed for factory workers, many companies have implemented it to keep their overall productivity at a high level, despite its criticism of violating a work/life balance.

Is this practice legal?

The policy is free of legal restrictions and provisions and can be followed by any employer or company in accordance with the terms discussed with the employee. 

With that being said, if there is a mention of the sandwich leave policy in your employment contract, your employer can force you to club your time-off and public holidays to deduct it from your annual leave. However, if there is no mention of the policy in your employment contract, you can talk to the HR department of your company and negotiate the terms.

How Vacation Tracker can help

If your HR team needs help tracking and managing your company’s time-off, look no further.

Vacation Tracker is a leave tracking software that lets you create multiple leave types (yes, including a sandwich leave policy!), set up different locations, filter users by labels, send reports, get daily/weekly notifications regarding leaves, and much much more.

Furthermore, our tool works directly from Slack, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Teams to ensure your team has a smooth leave tracking experience from the comfort of their workspace. We also offer a 7-day free trial to all our users so that they can experience all that our leave tracking tool has to offer, without any commitment. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

P.S. You don’t need a credit card to sign up either.


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